Today, Dec. 11, North Carolinians are officially under a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew by order of the governor. Like in other states, businesses are questioning what impact that has on slowing the spread of Covid-19.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services argues that the curfew is less about the time itself and more about what people tend to do during those hours. In part, they said, “Late-night activities often include gathering in small, indoor places with many people, where alcohol consumption may make people less cautious.”
Additionally, alcohol sales are banned after 9 p.m., meaning bar owners like Ian Purdy of Reboot Arcade Bar in Winston-Salem are doubly impacted. He told WFMY: “80% of our income is between the hours of 9-11 p.m., so Gov. Cooper is really kind of cutting us off at the knees here.” Purdy said he follows all the rules, wears his mask and enforces that in his bar. He believes the curfew will only drive people to hold gatherings at home in an unsafe manner.
“Obviously we’re not essential,” Purdy said. “People don’t die when they can’t get to a bar. But they also don’t die when they can’t go to Lowe’s Home Improvement.”